San Francisco 49ers: Anthony Dixon

As training camp creeps closer, let’s take a look at what has gone on so far with the 49ers this offseason:

Returning free agents: Receiver Anquan Boldin, kicker Phil Dawson, cornerback Eric Wright, receiver Kassim Osgood, cornerback Perrish Cox.

2015 free agents extended: Center Daniel Kilgore, fullback Bruce Miller.

Departed free agents: Safety Donte Whitner (Cleveland), cornerback Tarell Brown (Oakland), running back Anthony Dixon (Buffalo), receiver Mario Manningham (Giants), quarterback Colt McCoy (Redskins), center Jonathan Goodwin (Saints).

Released: Cornerback Carlos Rogers. He signed with Oakland.

Free-agent additions: Safety Antoine Bethea (Colts), cornerback Chris Cook (Vikings), receiver Brandon Lloyd (last with Patriots in 2012), quarterback Josh Johnson (released by Cincinnati), linebacker Blake Costanzo (Bears).

Acquired in trade: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars; tackle Jonathan Martin from Miami, receiver Stevie Johnson from Buffalo.

Starting lineup changes: Bethea for Whitner; likely Kilgore for Goodwin, Chris Culliver for Brown.
Free agency and the 2014 NFL draft are in the books and the San Francisco 49ers are essentially out of money. So let’s take a look at what has gone on so far:

Returning free agents: Receiver Anquan Boldin, kicker Phil Dawson, cornerback Eric Wright, receiver Kassim Osgood, cornerback Perrish Cox.

2015 free agents extended: Center Daniel Kilgore, fullback Bruce Miller.

Departed free agents: Safety Donte Whitner (Cleveland), cornerback Tarell Brown (Oakland), running back Anthony Dixon (Buffalo), receiver Mario Manningham (Giants), quarterback Colt McCoy (Redskins).

Released: Cornerback Carlos Rogers. He signed with Oakland.

Free agent addition: Safety Antoine Bethea (Colts), Cornerback Chris Cook (Vikings), Receiver Brandon Lloyd (last with Patriots in 2012).

Acquired in trade: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars; tackle Jonathan Martin from Miami, receiver Stevie Johnson from Buffalo.

Remaining free agents: Center Jonathan Goodwin.

Starting lineup changes: Bethea for Whitner; likely Kilgore for Goodwin, Chris Culliver or upcoming draft pick for Brown.

Updated offseason scorecard

April, 16, 2014
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Free agency continues and the San Francisco 49ers have been busy making roster changes. Let’s take a look at what has gone on so far:

Returning free agents: Receiver Anquan Boldin, kicker Phil Dawson, cornerback Eric Wright, receiver Kassim Osgood, cornerback Perrish Cox.

2015 free agents extended: Center Daniel Kilgore, fullback Bruce Miller.

Departed free agents: Safety Donte Whitner (Cleveland), cornerback Tarell Brown (Oakland), running back Anthony Dixon (Buffalo), receiver Mario Manningham (Giants), quarterback Colt McCoy (Redskins).

Released: Cornerback Carlos Rogers. He signed with Oakland.

Free agent addition: Safety Antoine Bethea (Colts), Cornerback Chris Cook (Vikings), Receiver Brandon Lloyd (last with Patriots in 2012).

Acquired in trade: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars; tackle Jonathan Martin from Miami.

Reportedly interested in: Receiver Josh Morgan (Washington free agent), but there hasn’t been any movement in the past several weeks, and the Lloyd signing likely ends any Morgan thoughts.

Remaining free agent: Center Jonathan Goodwin.

Starting lineup changes: Bethea for Whitner; likely Kilgore for Goodwin, Chris Culliver or upcoming draft pick for Brown.
Free agency continues and the San Francisco 49ers have been busy making roster changes. Let’s take a look at what has gone on so far:

Returning free agents: Receiver Anquan Boldin, kicker Phil Dawson, cornerback Eric Wright, receiver Kassim Osgood, cornerback Perrish Cox.

2015 free agents extended: Center Daniel Kilgore, fullback Bruce Miller.

Departed free agents: Safety Donte Whitner (Cleveland), cornerback Tarell Brown (Oakland), running back Anthony Dixon (Buffalo), receiver Mario Manningham (Giants), quarterback Colt McCoy (Redskins).

Released: Cornerback Carlos Rogers. He signed with Oakland.

Free-agent additions: Safety Antoine Bethea (Colts), cornerback Chris Cook (Vikings)

Acquired in trade: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars, tackle Jonathan Martin from Miami.

Who are they reportedly interested in: Receiver Josh Morgan (Washington free agent), but there hasn’t been any movement in the two weeks since the report.

Remaining free agents: Center Jonathan Goodwin.

Starting lineup changes: Bethea for Whitner; likely Kilgore for Goodwin; Chris Culliver or upcoming draft pick for Brown.
Free agency continues and the San Francisco 49ers have been busy making roster changes. Let’s take a look at what has gone on so far:

Returning free agents: receiver Anquan Boldin, kicker Phil Dawson, cornerback Eric Wright, receiver Kassim Osgood, cornerback Perrish Cox.

2015 free agents extended: Center Daniel Kilgore, fullback Bruce Miller.

Departed free agents: Safety Donte Whitner (Cleveland), cornerback Tarell Brown (Oakland), running back Anthony Dixon (Buffalo), receiver Mario Manningham (Giants).

Released: Cornerback Carlos Rogers.

Free agent additions: Safety Antoine Bethea (Colts), Cornerback Chris Cook (Vikings)

Acquired in trade: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars; tackle Jonathan Martin from Miami.

Who they are reportedly interested in: Receivers DeSean Jackson (49ers reportedly called Philadelphia about a possible trade, although the 49ers deny it) and Josh Morgan (Washington free agent).

Remaining free agents: Center Jonathan Goodwin, quarterback Colt McCoy.

Starting lineup changes: Bethea for Whitner; likely Kilgore for Goodwin, Chris Culliver or upcoming draft pick for Brown.
Free agency is trudging on and the San Francisco 49ers have been busy making roster changes. Let’s take a look at what has gone on so far:

Returning free agents: Receiver Anquan Boldin, kicker Phil Dawson, cornerback Eric Wright

2015 free agents extended: Center Daniel Kilgore, fullback Bruce Miller

Departed free agents: Safety Donte Whitner (Cleveland), cornerback Tarell Brown (Oakland), running back Anthony Dixon (Buffalo), receiver Mario Manningham (Giants)

Released: Cornerback Carlos Rogers

Free-agent addition: Safety Antoine Bethea (Colts), cornerback Chris Cook (Vikings)

Acquired in trade: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars; tackle Jonathan Martin from Dolphins

Who they are reportedly interested in: Receivers DeSean Jackson (49ers reportedly called Philadelphia about a possible trade) and Josh Morgan (Washington free agent)

Remaining free agents: Center Jonathan Goodwin, quarterback Colt McCoy, receiver Kassim Osgood, cornerback Perrish Cox

Starting lineup changes: Bethea for Whitner; likely Kilgore for Goodwin

Update: New Atlanta receiver/returner Devin Hester told reporters the 49ers were one of the teams interested in him. It makes sense. The 49ers have shown interested in many receivers this offseason. The two receivers they are reportedly interested in now are Jackson and Morgan, a former 49er. Getting Jackson would make the make the biggest impact, but the 49ers would have trouble fitting him under their tight salary cap.
One of the reasons the San Francisco 49ers were investigating free agent receivers in recent days is that one of their last acquisitions at the position didn’t work out.

Now, Mario Manningham will try to revive his career with his original team. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Manningham signed a one-year deal with the Giants. After being a Super Bowl hero for the Giants, Manningham signed a two-year deal with the 49ers in 2012.

Manningham was fairly effective in his first season with 42 catches, second most on the team. But he suffered a major knee injury late in the season. He debuted in November during the 2013 season, but never was healthy and fell out of the playing rotation. He was shelved again late in the season.

It was evident when Manningham was hurt again the 49ers would move on. Tuesday’s development was neither surprising nor disruptive to the 49ers’ plan for 2014.

In other 49ers news:

As part of his deal with Buffalo, former 49ers running back running back Anthony Dixon signed a three-year deal with $750,000 in guaranteed money.

The 49ers should be on pace to get a compensatory draft pick next year based on the fact more free agents have departed than signed with the 49ers. The formula, which is complex, won’t be determined until next year. The 49ers should get a third- or fourth-round comp pick for this year’s draft as soon as next week at the owners' meetings.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the 49ers have $3.8 million in salary-cap space, the fifth least in NFL. They will get more than $6 million in cap space in June per the Carlos Rogers cut.

The additional money will mostly likely be used to sign draft picks.
The reason it wasn't a big deal that the San Francisco 49ers' interest in Toby Gerhart didn't develop is the same reason it wasn't considered a blow that Anthony Dixon left the 49ers to sign with Buffalo in free agency.

Bruce Miller will be healthy in 2014.

The fullback's game was evolving nicely when he suffered a broken scapula in the 14th game of the season. He was put on the injured reserve. The 49ers missed Miller.

The running game was a bit flat after he was shelved. Miller was a multi-dimensional player by the time he got hurt. In addition to being a top-notch blocker, Miller was a capable receiver and short-yardage back. During the season, quarterback Colin Kaepernick said Miller was becoming the 49ers' “Swiss Army Knife,” replacing Delanie Walker, who left for Tennessee in free agency after the 2012 season.

Miller should get more opportunities in short yardage with Dixon in Buffalo. Like Dixon, Miller also shines on special teams. Miller, a seventh-round pick, is also popular in the locker room.

These are all reasons why the 49ers and Miller have had contract extension talks. He can be a free agent after next season, but it would not be a surprise at all if he extends his deal this offseason.
With San Francisco re-signing receiver Anquan Boldin, kicker Phil Dawson and cornerback Eric Wright and seeing safety Donte Whitner (Cleveland), cornerback Tarell Brown (Oakland) and running back Anthony Dixon (Buffalo) leave in free agency, let’s take a look at where the team’s remaining free agents stand:

Perrish Cox: The 49ers brought back Wright and signed Chris Cook from Minnesota. I wouldn’t close the door on Cox coming back at some point (he played well in the playoffs), but he's clearly not a priority.

Jonathan Goodwin: I could also see Goodwin coming back at some point, perhaps after the 49ers take a look at their young centers. If Daniel Kilgore struggles, San Francisco could always turn to the crafty veteran.

Mario Manningham: Manningham is coming off yet another injury. I highly doubt the 49ers bring the receiver back. He is visiting the Giants, his original team, Monday.

Colt McCoy: McCoy most certainly will not return. The 49ers traded for Blaine Gabbert to be the backup quarterback.

Kassim Osgood: He’s the guy the team would like back the most. He is a special-teams maven. It could be a numbers game, but at some point I’d think we will see the team bring Osgood back.
The San Francisco 49ers may turn to their greatest rival to address one of their few needs.

Thurmond
Seattle free-agent cornerback Walter Thurmond tweeted Thursday that he is headed to San Francisco for a visit. He visited Jacksonville on Thursday.

Thurmond is a versatile player who can play inside and outside. He’d be an upgrade for the 49ers at the cornerback position, which is still somewhat of a work in progress.

Interestingly, Thurmond and 49ers free-agent cornerback Tarell Brown have the same agent. Because the 49ers have limited cap room, they may be hard pressed to keep Brown -- who reportedly has received interested from Miami -- and sign Thurmond.

The 49ers also are visiting with Minnesota cornerback Chris Cook. He is not considered the player Thurmond or Brown are.

In other 49ers news:
  • Tackle Jonathan Martin passed his physical and his trade to the 49ers from Miami is official. The 49ers are giving Martin, who played for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, a change to salvage his career after being at the center of a bullying case in Miami last season.“Any time we acquire a player we give him a clean slate, along with every opportunity to demonstrate his value to our organization, both on the field and in the community,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “It will be no different in Jonathan’s case. As a former Stanford student-athlete, we are very familiar with Jonathan and look forward to working with him.”
  • Free-agent running back Anthony Dixon tweeted that he is going to Buffalo for a visit. He left Tennessee on Thursday. He is not expected to be back with the 49ers. While the salary cap is still fluid, the 49ers are expected to have about $3-4 million remaining.

49ers' offseason scorecard

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
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Free agency isn’t 24 hours old and the San Francisco 49ers have been busy making roster changes. Let’s take a look at what has gone on so far:

Returning free agents: receiver Anquan Boldin, kicker Phil Dawson, cornerback Eric Wright.

Departed free agents: Safety Donte Whitner (Browns).

Released: Cornerback Carlos Rogers.

Free=agent addition: Safety Antoine Bethea (Colts).

Acquired in trade: Quarterback Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars; tackle Jonathan Martin from Miami.

Remaining free-agent priority: Cornerback Tarell Brown.

Other remaining free agents: Center Jonathan Goodwin, receiver Mario Manningham, quarterback Colt McCoy, receiver Kassim Osgood, running back Anthony Dixon, cornerback Perrish Cox.

Starting lineup changes: Bethea for Whitner; likely Daniel Kilgore for Goodwin.

49ers evening notes

March, 11, 2014
Mar 11
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The San Francisco 49ers haven't had much of a Stanford influence on the roster since they hired Coach Jim Harbaugh away from the Farm three years ago.

For a moment Tuesday night, it looked like it could change. Fox Sports reported the 49ers were one of three teams showing interest in Minnesota running back Toby Gerhart, who starred for Harbaugh at Stanford.

However, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported shortly afterward that Gerhart is signing with Jacksonville. Frankly, the 49ers have a crowded backfield and there isn't a great immediate need for a running back, so losing out on Gerhart isn't a big deal. Still, I could see why Harbaugh and his staff (many of whom were with him at Stanford) would kick the tires on Gerhart.

The team will likely not bring back free-agent running back Anthony Dixon, who tweeted out Tuesday that he will visit Tennessee on Wednesday.

As expected, the team cut cornerback Carlos Rogers with a post-June 1 designation. It will save more than $6 million in cap room.

The 49ers showed some pre-free agency interest in receiver/returner Dexter McCluster, but he quickly signed with the Titans.

Tarell Brown's market has been slow. The cornerback class is deep. It could take a little time. The 49ers want him back.

Kicker Phil Dawson's extension is for two years. It could be the 39-year-old's final two NFL seasons.

49ers rankings: 36-40

February, 7, 2014
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We are taking a look at the top 60 players in the San Francisco 49ers’ program and will rank them from 1-60. We are going to take a look in a 12-part series, moving upward. The ranking considerations are based on 2013 production, future projections, age, and contract status:

36. Running back/returner LaMichael James: The 2012 second-round pick still hasn’t made a huge impact as a running back, but he hasn’t gotten much of a chance, either. However, he proved to be a solid kick and punt returner in the second half of the season. He has ability.

37. Linebacker Corey Lemonier: The rookie linebacker has a nice future. He should get more opportunities next season. He is a player to watch.

38. Linebacker Dan Skuta: The free agent was a nice addition. He played well when Aldon Smith was away from the team seeking treatment for substance abuse. Plus, Skuta is strong special-teamer. A nice player to have.

39. Running back Anthony Dixon: Dixon is an interesting player. He is versatile, as he can play running back, fullback and special teams. He is a free agent, though, and I can see him getting some interest from other teams.

40. Guard Adam Snyder: An older, experienced player is good to have on the roster. He played in five games when left guard Mike Iupati got injured. Depending on the development of younger players, Snyder could be back in 2014.

Early 49ers free-agent primer

January, 27, 2014
Jan 27
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Let's take an early offseason look at the San Francisco's 49ers' pending unrestricted free agents:
    Boldin
  • WR Anquan Boldin: He is vital. He is 33, so he may not get much interest. The 49ers might be his best fit.

    Percentage of return: 75
  • CB Tarell Brown: The cornerback market was started last year and many starting-quality cornerbacks had to settle for less than they probably wanted. If that happens again, it could lead Brown back to the 49ers.

    Percentage of return: 55
  • K Phil Dawson: The 49ers love Dawson and he loves them. There is no reason for him not to return.

    Percentage of return: 90
  • RB Anthony Dixon: Dixon is versatile and he fills a lot of roles. But that could make him attractive to other teams.

    Percentage of return: 30
  • OL Jonathan Goodwin: He is 35. He is thinking about retirement, but he would also be willing to return if the 49ers wanted him back for another year or so.

    Percentage of return: 45
  • WR Mario Manningham: The oft-injured receiver is likely not be on the 49ers' radar.

    Percentage of return: 5
  • QB Colt McCoy: The 49ers will likely look for an upgrade but could always circle back to McCoy.

    Percentage of return: 25
  • WR Kassim Osgood: A special teams star. I'm sure the 49ers would like him back.

    Percentage of return: 60
  • Whitner
  • S Donte Whitner: This is a tough one. The 49ers need him, but if he gets pricey it may be difficult for them to keep him.

    Percentage of return: 60
  • CB Eric Wright: The 49ers had high hopes for Wright, but the team didn't seem to trust him. He finished the season on the inactive list.

    Percentage of return: 10

Arrow indicates direction team is trending.

Final Power Ranking: 4
Preseason Power Ranking: 2

Biggest surprise: The impact that Michael Crabtree's injury and then his return had on the team. When Crabtree suffered a torn Achilles in May, the 49ers knew it would affect their offense. But his absence was felt dramatically during the 11 games he was out. The 49ers had essentially nothing behind receiver Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis in the passing game. However, when he returned Dec. 1, the 49ers were instantly a better, more varied, dangerous offense. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was more confident. The difference was stark.

Biggest disappointment: The loss at New Orleans on Nov. 17. The 49ers appeared to have sealed the game when linebacker Ahmad Brooks sacked and forced New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees to fumble late. But Brooks was called for a questionable personal foul. The Saints rallied to win. It was a major storyline in the NFL that week. Had the 49ers won, they would have finished 13-3, won a tiebreaker over Seattle in the NFC West and would not have had to play at Seattle in the playoffs.

Biggest need: The 49ers are deep. They don't have many holes. But they can use another young receiver. Boldin is 33 and a free agent. Fourth-round pick Quinton Patton looks promising, but San Francisco will likely take a speed receiver early in the draft. Expect the team to take a cornerback fairly early as well. The 49ers need to develop a young player there.

Team MVP: Inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman. The 25-year-old had an amazing season. He is an NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He was dominant in virtually every game. He is a special playmaker. It was a sad sight seeing him being carted off in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss at Seattle with a major knee injury. Bowman is expected back next season. The 49ers need him.

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